Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Sunday, July 22, 2007


All Good Things

Okay, so here's where I have to make kind of an embarrassing admission: the last post I wrote about the final Harry Potter book was, I'm sorry to tell you, a work of fiction. I do not, in reality, have a cousin named Bjorn. This non-existent cousin did not, then, steal me a copy of Deathly Hallows. In truth, none of the things I said happened in the book actually happened in the book. It was all one big lie. I'm ashamed.

I will say, though, that Voldemort is certainly Dick Cheney's brother in spirit, if not in fact.

That confession out of the way, I can now say that I totally ignored my wife yesterday (hi, honey! kisses and hugs!) and plowed through the book like a college freshman with his bottle of cut-rate tequila. Unlike your average freshman, though, I didn't end up puking all over my shoes in my friend's backseat outside of a dance club.

So, the book? Loved it. Most of what I figured would happen did, in fact, happen. But Rowling planted enough red herrings that I made a few incorrect guesses and was, happily, surprised a number of times.

I laughed. I cried. I cheered. Fortunately, I did this alone on my couch and not in public, where I'd have to worry what people thought of a 36-year-old man reading a children's book with snot pouring out of his nose.

Seriously, though, the book had more than its share of both "Oh, shit!" moments and "Oh, no!" moments. It also had one or two sections that maybe meandered a bit more than I would have liked, but I actually kind of appreciated them, as it was somewhat akin to that conversation you have in the doorway after your good friends have put their coats on but before they actually walk to their car and drive away. Wow. What a horrendously tortured analogy.

Anyway, I won't give anything away, except to say that, for me, this book cured me of the feeling that house elves were basically the Ewoks of the series, ruining my enjoyment with their cutesy/nauseating bullshit. And that's saying something.

Whew. I can now get on with my life. My sad and pathetic, non-magical life. Shit.

Saturday, during the top of Act II, I decided to bring the book with me while I waited for my cue.

And I'm reading along, all is well. Then I hit page 260 (or the chapter beginning around there) and the world disappeared. Next thing I know:

"Psst! Psst!"

I had missed my entrance. Classy.
Nice work, Beigey.

Joe, sounds like you are feeling the letdown I am. The books are done, and the world seems less magical. Crap.

I loved most of the book, too, though I had some issues, and felt like the last chapter was, well, cheesy, albeit necessary.
Beigey, that's so weird, 'cause usually when you miss a cue, it's because you're drunk.

JJ, yeah there were a few things I wasn't nuts about. We had the usual bits of clunky exposition for people who hadn't just re-read the entire series. I didn't really think the Deathly Hallows bit was all that fucking necessary; the book would have worked just as well focusing on Harry destroying the Horcruxes (Horcruxi?) And I thought two deaths in particular (dropped simultaneously in our laps out of nowhere; I think you know which ones I mean) seemed like Rowling had put a bunch of her characters on her dartboard and said, "Okay, the next two to kick it are..."

And, like you, I thought the epilogue kind of sucked ass. I would've been much more satisfied with an Animal House-style (or Garp-esque, if you need a more literary reference) Where Are They Now kind of thing would have worked a whole lot better than the shmear of marmalade that closed out such a great series.
re: missed cues - I think you have me confused with our esteemed colleague, Skot.

RE: Hallows - I think the epilogue is going to be the anchovie of the book/series...I was okay with it; and felt it kind of necessary to stanch the greedy "let's write another" impulse
Oh, Joe, you're not pathetic! You should have seen me with this book...I stopped a few times to bargain with the gods for Harry's life. :) My whole family adores the series, it's the only thing we all like, and now it's over. We're all a bit depressed.
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